International Space Camp at Biosphere 2 helping humans get to Mars

Students travel to the biosphere

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Students from halfway across the world are learning what life could be like on a different world right here in southern Arizona.

The University of Arizona has partnered with Kyoto University in Japan to host a Space Camp at Biosphere 2 this week. The camp involves 10 students, five from schools across Arizona, and five from Kyoto University.

International space camp at Biosphere 2 (Source: KOLD News 13)
International space camp at Biosphere 2 (Source: KOLD News 13) (Source: KOLD News 13 Staff)

Inside the massive Biosphere 2 on Thursday, it is hot and humid. Conditions ripe for students at Space Camp to learn about dust and atmospheric particles in the “desert” environment at the indoor, earth simulator 30 miles north of Tucson. University students are studying a variety of planet habitats in one place in preparation for mans eventual trip to Mars.

"We want to go to the moon by 2025," says John Adams, Deputy Director of Biosphere 2. "And soon enough we will be looking to send people to Mars. This program builds on the original foundation of Biosphere 2, which is to better understand closed systems for potential space exploration."

International space camp at Biosphere 2 (Source: KOLD News 13)
International space camp at Biosphere 2 (Source: KOLD News 13) (Source: KOLD News 13 Staff)

Students began the week studying in the rain forest, then moved on to the simulated ocean inside the facility before ending in the desert.

“I’m so honored to be here and happy to be a part of this program,” says Ami Hashimoto, an agriculture major at Kyoto University. “This is my first time coming to the desert, so I’m going to tell my friends what it was like, and hot hot and dry it is here.”

International space camp at Biosphere 2 (Source: KOLD News 13)
International space camp at Biosphere 2 (Source: KOLD News 13) (Source: KOLD News 13 Staff)

“My favorite part has been talking to astronauts,” says U of A sophomore, Daniel McConville. “But also doing the research in some of these biomes has been very interesting.” McConville says learning alongside students from across the world is vital to the future of space exploration.

“All of this cooperation is incredibly important for the skills we need in space.”

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